Definition of distraction in English:

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Pronunciation: /dɪˈstrakʃ(ə)n/


1A thing that prevents someone from concentrating on something else: the firm found passenger travel a distraction from the main business of moving freight
More example sentences
  • He also knew that, if Ally didn't have a distraction, she would inadvertently be a distraction to him.
  • This allows concentration on counseling without as strong a distraction from the paraphiliac urges.
  • This concentration on the stand-alone card price as a distraction from scheme cost is dealt with in more detail here.
diversion, interruption, disturbance, intrusion, interference, obstruction, hindrance
1.1A diversion or recreation: there are plenty of distractions such as sailing [mass noun]: he roved the district in search of distraction
More example sentences
  • The little distractions and diversions that once seemed to add to the richness of the texture now feel like unfocused rambling.
  • She sensed that a scream would be inappropriate, however, and she looked to the table as she searched for a distraction.
  • There is no super model, superstar girlfriend by Rivaldo's side; no distractions but football.
amusement, entertainment, diversion, activity, pastime, recreation, interest, hobby, game, leisure pursuit, occupation, divertissement
2 [mass noun] Extreme agitation of the mind: her uncharacteristic air of distraction
More example sentences
  • The prevailing air of distraction was unfortunate, for Fox may have something important to say.
  • Loathing and distraction stop the insanity and music clears the soul.
  • You know, most people are living especially on the coasts, between distraction and frenzy.
frenzy, hysteria, mental distress, madness, insanity, wildness, mania, derangement, delirium;
bewilderment, befuddlement, perplexity, confusion, disturbance, agitation, perturbation, harassment
archaic crazedness


to distraction

Almost to a state of madness: she loved him to distraction
More example sentences
  • After all, I'm driven to distraction by the incorrect and inconsistent use of the comma in practically every publication I read.
  • Since Ellis, who had made his fortune in the travel business, took over at Villa Park, 11 managers have been driven to distraction by him.
  • Motorists visiting Manchester for Christmas are being driven to distraction by ‘ghost’ car park signs.


Late Middle English: from Latin distractio(n-), from the verb distrahere (see distract).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: dis|trac¦tion

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